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Quest for Lost Heroes

(The Drenai Saga #4)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  8,766 ratings  ·  152 reviews
The Drenai stronghold had fallen. Now blood-hungry Nadir hordes spread desolation and despair across all the lands...
...even tiny Gothir, where slavers seized a young girl while the villagers looked the other way--all but the peasant boy Kiall. His unlikely rescue attempt would lead across the savage steppes and on through the Halls of Hell. The youth would face ferocious
Mass Market Paperback, 291 pages
Published May 31st 1995 by Del Rey (first published 1990)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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Ahmad Sharabiani
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Quest for Lost Heroes (The Drenai Saga, #4), David Gemmell

Quest for Lost Heroes, published in 1990, is a novel by British fantasy writer David Gemmell. It is the fourth entry in the Drenai series.

The story is set several decades after and makes several references to the events in Gemmell's earlier title, The King Beyond the Gate. It also provides a conclusion to the story of Tenaka Khan, one of the main protagonists of The King Beyond the Gate.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز شانزدهم ماه ژانویه سال 2011
Mayim de Vries
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
“The few against the many. It was a time of heroes.”

This is the fourth Drenai novel, however, when it comes to the internal chronology of the saga, it is the eighth volume. This novel is proof that a book, despite its secondariness and being to a large extent a derivative, can be a very good read.

The story takes place about twenty years after the events described in “The King Beyond the Gate.” After the fall of Dros Delnoch (presently Tanaka Castle) the Nadir flooded the Drenai lands, destroyin
Final rating: 4.5/5 stars

Oh boy. Where do I even start. I know! Let's start with love.

Uncoditional love...
Brotherly love...
Cofigthers love...
Friendship love...
Sibling love (and hate)...
unrequited love...

All of these are factors that gather one particular group to search for missing captive women, or in this case, only one, Ravena.


Kiall, from their village, cannot stand by and do nothing while their women are taken away, so he goes on quest and meets Chareos the Blademaster, Beltzer
Feb 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Quest for Lost Heroes is only the second fantasy novel by David Gemmell that I have read. I should probably read more. I remember the first one, Legend, as being realistic and gritty. Prior to my reading of Game of Thrones, I thought it captured the filth and stench of medieval life better than anything I had read. I liked the fact that Gemmell captured heroism without glorifying battle and that he didn’t oversimplify the quests of his protagonist(s) with nationalistic/racist slogans. His charac ...more
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The Nadir raiders captured young women from a small village. A young romantic man from this same village happened to be in love with one of them (it was a one-sided love). He set out on a hopeless quest to rescue his love. He was lucky as several great heroes who survived the last onslaught of Nadir hordes joined him out of sheer boredom - mostly. Still a few expert fighters do not make a task of finding a woman in vast Nadir steppes and getting out with her alive any easier. In fact, the compan ...more
Al Datum
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have read a lot of fantasy books through the years. Recently, it seems the trend is toward endless series, each volume of which is the size of War and Peace. Refreshingly, Gemmell tells his stories in much fewer pages, and his stories end up being some of the most well-written in modern fantasy literature.

One thing I love about Gemmell is how his stories are all self-contained. They have definite endings and you can finish one, knowing you won't have a cliffhanger forcing you to rush out and b
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I started this book with a pang in my heart because I knew that my favorite half-Nadir, half-Drenai, Tenaka Khan was dead. His son was now the Khan of the Nadir and his daughter, Tanaki, exiled. Having conquered the Drenai, the Nadir were now the ruling nation in power.

This story brought to my mind the image of a snowball rolling down a hill, gathering mass and momentum until at the bottom it’s the size of a mountain, headed on a collision course. How the search for one common woman led to a gra
Dawn C
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved
"Evil will never be countered while good men do nothing.”

Another utterly beautifully written story of loyalty, friendship, devotion and travelling together as a band and working together for something ineffable that is bigger than yourself. I know the books are about heroes and legends and you sort of have to die to earn that title, but still I am loving all of these characters so much I bawl my eyes out every time we lose one of them because if there's one thing Gemmell can do it's write beauti
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Back to Gemmell after a while and it's nice to see one of his classic conundrums:

"What is the most important to you, duty or freedom?"

It's another tale of love, duty, honour and friendship, where we have a young guy learning the ropes from the older, cynical, experienced guys.

"The few against the many. It was a time of heroes." "It's a time for survivors."

The first half is filled with cyclical references to life, death, progress and society, but the last part is more Gemmell, though, we don't h
James Field
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good story. A little complicated maybe with all the weird cultures, clans, names and places, but by the middle it had me hooked. In a minor way, this reminded me of Lord of the Rings. All the elements are here: wizards, the void, brave heroes, damsels in distress, battles, action, and the search for an object that will save the world. In this case, a pig farmer's daughter!
Unlike many quest stories whose hero is a reluctant girl, this legend is about a bunch of magnificent old men. They are has-b
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: completed
Talk about jumping into the middle of a series.. Okay, apparently, I read the first two books of this series a long time ago. However, I was able to jump into this one and not feel like I was missing anything. Really-- this was was almost a stand alone story.

I remember meeting the big axe wielding hero from the earlier books... so I was not completely lost. The big battle that made the guys our heroes was covered in those, but not reading them probably would not affect the reader too terribly.

Sep 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Did Gemmell ever write a bad book? I've made it my business to find out, and so far, so good. QUEST FOR LOST HEROES is another in his Drenai saga which began with the excellent LEGEND and shows no signs of slowing down at this stage.

As the title would imply, this book adopts a quest/journey narrative and casts a band of ageing one-were-heroes as its leads. The story is slight and the characters fill out the usual archetypes, but as usual Gemmell uses this background as a springboard for his two
Mar 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: drenai-saga
Another good, not mind blowing entry for the Drenai Series.

At this point, it seems that all of Gemmell's books (or atleast this series) are going to be fast paced, classical fantasy stories. He did change up the plot from the first two novels, as there was no main characters defending against a siege against all the odds, so that was nice.

These books remind me of the Redwall books from my childhood: Each book can be read as a stand alone, there are always descandants/relatives of characters from
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Book 4 of the Drenai introduced more fantasy elements than I would have liked, but the story, characters, and writing are all still vintage David Gemmell. Absolutely excellent. I love the new host of "washed up" heroes, Chareos, Beltzer, Finn, and Maggrig. The Nadir with a tie-in to our friend from book 2, Tenaka Kahn, is also a strong element. The introduction of the Chinese power, Kiatze, from the west was great. I expect them to see more action in future novels in the series. A Quest for Lost ...more
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I thought that I had read all of Gemmell's novels so it was a nice surprise to come across this one and discover that I hadn't. Especially since, I had no business buying this in the first place because we are moving and trying to divest ourselves of as many books as possible. But he's one of my favourite authors, and it was a buy one, get one free deal.... for 1 euro. Seriously, who could resist.

This one goes to the top of my Gemmell novels. He's good at writing about seemingly unlikeable chara
Baron Rothschild
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
nice read
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 Stars

I have really enjoyed revisiting this book/series. I chose this series as part f my reading challenge for this year, and as a buddy read with one of my colleagues. Even though the first book in the series was released in 1984 (and the latest in 2000) the series has pretty much stood the test of time. It is a fantastic action adventure fantasy- with superb characters and brilliant world building, which brings the whole story/series to life.
I have fond memories of discovering this series an
Nov 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yet another awesome book from David Gemmell! This one isn't his best work, but it will do well enough.

This story fits in the time-line as a post-King Beyond the Gate time where Tenaka Khan actually succeeds in overthrowing the Drenai. It tells of a journey into Nadir territory, nominally to rescue a peasant girl, but it ends up being so much more.

There is an odd making of bed fellows where the peasant boy leading the quest for his kid-love manages to recruit a team of battle hardened warriors. T
Quintin Zimmermann
Jun 03, 2015 rated it liked it
In Quest for Lost Heroes, David Gemmell again jumps ahead many years, thereby giving The Drenai Saga truly epic scope and historical context.

However, this time round, Gemmell's heroes are not as well-rounded. Kiall, the foil that launches this adventure, is your stereotypical villager, but his niave sweetness is not endearing and his motivations are as defined as mud. Chareos does not have the same depth as Ananais and Beltzer is a poor man's Druss. The outsider this time is Chen-tsu, but he pal
May 23, 2016 rated it did not like it
Ok I'm done with this guy. I've been slogging my way through the Drenai books without much enjoyment - because I foolishly bought them all in a sale before reading any of them. Aside from the repetitiveness, lopsided pacing and two dimensional characters one of my issues with the series has been the overuse and excusing of sexual violence and the threat of sexual violence against female characters - seriously, find a new plot device.
In this book however he surpasses himself with a scene of sexu
Aug 28, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a great epic fantasy. You have to read the books in order though. The author refers to a lot of previous events and does not explain them for new readers.

The hero wants to rescue a woman who was kidnapped from his village by slavers. He's in love with her.

Along the way, he stumbles into a legendary band of former heroes (from the legendary battle of Bel-azar) who agree to help him rescue her.

A quest full of adventure, hardship, friendship, and action.

Note: The epilogue to this book w
Joey Cruz
Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite-fantasy
The first heroic fantasy novel I ever read, given to me by my 9th grade history teacher who was getting rid of a bunch of old books. I wish I could go back and thank Mrs. Yaeger for that. This book was instrumental in turning me into the fantasy fan I am today. Really want to go back and read it again, but it's in a box back at my father's place.

It was the perfect story for a 15 year old mind curious about fantasy and looking to learn more.
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Back to the troubled Drenai universe. This is actually more of an anti-quest novel. Our heroes set out to find a pig farmers daughter that has been taken in a raid and sold into slavery by the Nadir. Along the way larger events reveal themselves. Really good read.
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I greatly enjoy that Gemmell writes about aging heroes. Gemmell seems to have stepped away from his usual focus on the Thirty's good vs. evil battles. This is a fun story and well worth reading. ...more
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
French review of this book :
Thomas Robert
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
David Gemmell will likely disappoint fans of epic fantasy stories set in magical worlds with lots of different characters and races, and stories equally ambitious in scope (think J. R. R. Tolkien, Raymond E. Feist, George R. R. Martin etc.)

Gemmell’s stories start out with much promise but after a few chapters tend unfortunately to follow a very dull and formulaic pattern in terms of plot and characters.

All of his main characters tend to be cold and taciturn warrior heroes, normally nu
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy
3.5 stars.

The fortress of Dros Delnoch has fallen and the Drenai nation have been conquered by the vicious Nadir (they can’t complain they were warned – the Nadir have been a threat for the previous three books after all). In the tiny realm of Gothir, a young village girl – the pig-breeder’s daughter, no less – is kidnapped by slavers and a peasant boy from the same village, with a head full of heroic dreams and fancying himself in love with the girl, sets off to rescue her.

On the way he is joi
Bryan D
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yet again David Gemmell delivers a bloodsoaked novel, this one has a kid who goes on an insanely heroic suicidal adventure to rescue the women who were abducted from his village, there's one that's his main objective, but he's hoping to rescue everyone, but then, as in all the Drenai novels, reality kicks him in the face and he's helped by a bunch of legendary heroes to try and change the way of their world with the hope of having songs written about their escapades.
This book proves that it's be
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Let me start by saying I had no idea this was part of a series until I was about a third of the way through, or so; I had someone insist I should borrow and read this book who didn't specify it wasn't the first. Without looking it up here on Goodreads, I never would have known it wasn't a standalone, so props to the author on making a self-contained story.

I really appreciated that the tale was primarily focused on a bunch of middle aged has-been warriors. Sure, there was the obligatory "young pe
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
What starts as a simple rescue of village girl ends up as a much grander quest with many participants, some willing, some unwilling in event that will define Nadir relations with other kingdoms - Drenai and Gothir - in coming years.

Story is very much a cross of True Grit and 7 Samurai/Magnificent Seven. Asked to help young farmer Kiall to save the girl kidnapped by slave traders war-veteran-swordsman-turned-monk Chareos will gather group of battle hardened warriors that fought at his side years
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David Andrew Gemmell was a bestselling British author of heroic fantasy. A former journalist and newspaper editor, Gemmell had his first work of fiction published in 1984. He went on to write over thirty novels. Best known for his debut, Legend, Gemmell's works display violence, yet also explores themes in honour, loyalty and redemption. With over one million copies sold, his work continues to sel ...more

Other books in the series

The Drenai Saga (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Legend (The Drenai Saga, #1)
  • The King Beyond the Gate (The Drenai Saga, #2)
  • Waylander (The Drenai Saga #3)
  • In the Realm of the Wolf (The Drenai Saga, #5)
  • The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend (The Drenai Saga, #6)
  • The Legend of Deathwalker (The Drenai Saga, #7)
  • Winter Warriors (The Drenai Saga, #8)
  • Hero in the Shadows (The Drenai Saga, #9)
  • White Wolf (The Drenai Saga, #10)
  • The Swords of Night and Day (The Drenai Saga, #11)

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“A warrior has only one true friend. Only one man he can rely on. Himself. So he feeds his body well; he trains it; works on it. Where he lacks skill, he practises. Where he lacks knowledge, he studies. But above all he must believe. He must believe in his strength of will, of purpose, of heart and soul. Do not speak badly of yourself, for the warrior that is inside you hears your words and is lessened by them. You are strong and you are brave. There is a nobility of spirit within you. Let it grow — you will do well enough. Now where is that damned food?” 3 likes
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